The Politicking Is Over

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Mr.
President, thank the lord, the election is over. The 2004 election
is one for the history books and the historians to haggle over.
The dirty politics is over (as if there is such a thing as pristine
politics). It is the end of politics, at least theoretically, for
another four years. Dan Rather will no longer rack his brain in
the wee hours of the morning figuring out a way for you to lose.
The choice between the imperfect and the even more imperfect is
over and done with. Thankfully, we need not choose between the unbelievable
and the incredulous, or as The Economist noted: the incoherent
and the incompetent. Now is the time for policy. True policy. Now
is the time to return to your roots. Now is the time to show your
true colors. Perhaps you did win a mandate. Perhaps you did rally
the majority of the voting public around your values. But, now is
the time to work for true progress in this country if you truly
believe in any conservative ideals or any of your campaign rhetoric.

It
is now or never Mr. President. It is time to show the people who
voted for you in good conscience the first time around that you
believe in what you said. You have a great opportunity to give back
to the country for all that it has given you. You have spoken of
letting the American people live their dreams without the interference
of the federal government. You have spoke of a more humble foreign
policy. You have preached the virtues of the free market. You have
espoused the benefits of privatization and deregulation. You have
even spoken of a nation not beholden to special interests. For the
sake of the toiling peasants across the land it is now time to solidify
your legacy and make this country proud. Show the people across
the land that you are the one able to continue the Reagan revolution
and implement his dreams making them a reality.

You
have an excellent opportunity when it comes to a number of issues.
No president since Eisenhower has had a greater opportunity to rally
the people and politicians to implement your policy prescriptions
(I exclude the sympathy votes garnered by LBJ). Didn't you hear
the roar of the crowd? The people are behind you. Many politicians
owe their reelection to the fact that you were at the top of the
ticket.

First,
I suggest the abolition of the federal income tax. It is truly immoral
to tax the labor of an individual. If you think this is too dramatic,
just keep in mind this will only mean a reduction to a 1986 level
of federal spending. Yet, Mr. President, this is not nearly enough,
I suggest if you truly believe in an ownership society then surely
you should be working for the abolition of property taxes as well.
After all, can something truly be called your own if one has to
keep paying taxes on it year after year? I have never heard of such
a thing. The first company to propose this idea would certainly
go out of business or quickly change their marketing to incorporate
the terms rent or lease in the deal.

If
you can accomplish only the two aforementioned items you will be
a hero and possibly a candidate for sainthood. But, this is only
the beginning there is so much more you can do to strengthen our
economy and our standard of living. Next, I suggest ending the inefficient
subsidies that obscure an entrepreneur's profit calculation and
hurt consumers all around. Please don't be afraid of competition.
Be afraid of enabling inefficiency. Be afraid of disrupting competition
in the market. Despite well-intentioned, but economically-deficient
politicians, the steel industry was damaged beyond repair by their
pandering while consumers paid the price.

My
next suggestion regards education. I know it is an issue dear to
your heart. I know that your wife was once a teacher and you endured
the presence of Senator Kennedy long enough to try and fix the so-called
problem. However, the real problem is exactly this meddling in education.
I am sorry if I am the only one to stand up and say it but, education
is really the responsibility of the parents. And even then there
comes a time when one has to take one's own education into your
own hands. I've even heard that you once believed the same thing:
not telling your parents when you applied for business school. I
can appreciate the fact that you wanted to accomplish something
on your own. I think kids will value their education that much more
when they realize its own value and strive for it out of their own
free will. The expense does not necessarily have to exclude even
the most impoverished among us. I will let you in on a little secret.
Not only are public libraries free of charge, but you can walk right
into a university research library free of charge providing they
accept federal or United Nations documents.

Next,
it is on to healthcare. Or should I say health preservation. Please
don't believe the hype Mr. President. The last thing we need is
a war on obesity. Don't believe the recent pronouncements in an
irresponsible documentary on the ill-effects of a certain fast food
provider. What we need in this country is a little bit of common
sense combined with some individual responsibility and accountability
when it comes to our choices in food consumption. A little restraint,
a healthy diet, and some exercise will go a long way in preventing
some of the most devastating medical problems. Furthermore, we need
to get the federal government out of the doctor-patient relationship.
I know you don't believe in HillaryCare so let's allow freedom to
reign and every individual to exchange for medical services without
the doctor worrying about some two-bit bureaucrat interfering with
his prognosis or course of treatment.

Contrary
to popular belief the greatest presidents were not ones who led
us into war, but the ones who presided over a peaceful nation and
avoided any imperial entanglements. It is far past time to end the
United States military presence around the world and bring our boys
back home. We must stop placing economic sanctions on other countries.
It is in our best interest and to the benefit of every consumer
to end the sanctions. We must also be willing to engage in unrestricted
trade with all nations. We should immediately drop all trade barriers
with nations that will also agree to do the same. The restrictions
on Canadian maple are doing no one any good and the same goes for
the furniture coming out of China and the shrimp exported from Vietnam.
A neutral stance with regard to foreign disputes will go along way
in securing our own security. Tariffs, quotas, and thousand-page
trade agreements are the antithesis of truly free trade. Just wait
until we all enjoy a dramatic drop in prices for our favorite foreign
products. And guess what Mr. President? The people will thank you
for it.

I
would be irresponsible if I did not mention our exploding deficit
and irresponsible debt. I don't think you want to be sending the
message to the youth of today that it is okay not to balance your
checkbook. If it is not okay for an individual to bounce checks,
it is definitely not okay for the government to do so. It is not
only our children that you are burdening with government debt, but
it is everyone living today as well.

Finally,
Mr. President, I suggest you ask some pointed questions to Alan
Greenspan following in the footsteps of the honorable Rep. Ron Paul.
The time is upon us to put the Federal Reserve out of business before
its reckless policies reduce our medium of exchange to a worthless
scrap. The fumbling fiat dollar needs to be defined in terms of
gold to save us from the depressing depreciation of purchasing power
that has characterized the Fed's existence. Moreover, the banking
industry deserves to be opened up to competition. Not to mention
that bank customers also deserve the same courtesy at least then
they'll know where their dollars are going. Federal Deposit Insurance
should be eliminated in favor of a market solution. 100% reserves
should become an option on the market or at least banks would have
an incentive to keep prudent reserves to avoid bank runs. At the
very least we can avoid inherently bankrupt banks propped up by
the federal government at taxpayer expense. Inefficient banks should
not be bailed out anymore than a watered-down lemonade stand on
the corner. Imagine a strong dollar in every American's pocket Mr.
President. To put it mildly, your $300 tax credit will pale in comparison.

If
you truly want a strong America, it is the very least you can do.

November
4, 2004

Justin
Ptak [send him mail]
is the Managing Editor of Aubrey
Herbert's Economic Education
.

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